Yesterday I had to revamp one of the paintings I created when I was living in Woodenbong in northern New South Wales. We lived in the mountains on the rim of the caldera of an ancient volcano and it was a time in my life when I really was absorbed in Goddess and Earth energy.
The original painting had a barn owl’s wing resting in a piece of wood I found when I took our little Jack Russell, Rosie, for a walk. I used to let Rosie (now sadly over the Rainbow Bridge after 16.5 years of her lively, loving presence) go where she wanted and often found material for my artwork in our ramblings.
I came across the barn owl lying beside the road when we lived in Pingelly, on the wheatbelt east of Perth, Western Australia (yes, I know, we’ve moved around a lot), and I kept both wings (and yes, again, my husband thought I was stark, staring mad!).
I felt the wing fitted well into the wood when I’d fixed it into the artwork and it’s stayed that way until I noticed yesterday that the wing had fallen to bits. Some insect had got into it and eaten a lot of it away, so I had to remove it and look for a replacement.
In earlier times, I would have ranted and raved about losing the barn owl’s wing, but now I’m a lot older I simply view it as another step forward in the road I’m treading on earth. So I hunted around and found a feather fan I’d created a while back, with local wood, feathers from Australia, and clear quartz stones wrapped around the wood. It fitted perfectly into the wood, in place of the barn owl feather, along with some of the remaining feathers from the barn owl’s wing, and I felt it signified a shift in energy to shamanic work with the winds of the earth. I am very connected to air, wind, feathers and birds as – in astrological terms – I have nine air signs, so my motto is: “I think, therefore I am!”
I use the term “shamanic” with some reservation as I certainly don’t see myself as a shaman, nor do I wish to appropriate symbols from First Nations people for whom shamanic work is a life gift (or curse, however you wish to see it) which is not in the Western spiritual tradition. However, working with the energies of this artwork and the other artwork I created in Woodenbong seems best suited to “shamanic” in a very, very broad sense.
Previously I called this artwork “Woman of Power”, and now I’ve named it “Shaman of the Winds”. Other symbols included in the artwork are: a piece of hollow wood to represent ability to act as a hollow bone to bring spirit into being at the earth level; mookaite stone (Australian jasper) to represent Australian energies; spider – representing creativity and my Totem; red, wooden petals at the base intermingled with small tumbled stones for earth energy; gold glitter for wisdom; centre wood for grounding; and a gold network over the base paint to represent the net of light which connects us all.
All change – toot, toot!